Part of speech: noun
Origin: French, 16th century
A flash or sparkle of light.
(Astronomy) The twinkling of the stars, caused by the earth's atmosphere diffracting starlight unevenly.
Examples of Scintillation in a sentence
"We could see the scintillation of the city’s lights from the top of the mountain."
"Arlene sat on her roof on clear summer nights and enjoyed the scintillation of the stars."
Popularity Over Time
“Scintillation” is taken directly from the same word in French, which itself is based on the Latin “scintillation,” meaning “sparkling” or “twinkling.”
Did you Know?
In everyday English, the word “scintillating” describes the bright thoughts and wit of a clever person, or the dazzling talent of a skilled individual. The word “scintillation” is closely associated with “scintillating,” though it is rarely used as a metaphor. Rather, “scintillation” refers specifically to flashes of light, particularly light that is sparkling or twinkling rather than constant. One might describe an evening of conversation as “scintillating,” but “scintillation” could be used for the flicker of the candles at the dinner party.